Over the next few weeks as the Panthers continue spring practice, the Pantherdigest will be…
Saddler The Salesman
The speedy Saddler can score from anywhere on the field and is particularly dangerous as a kickoff and punt-return specialist. He can catch passes out of the backfield and hit a hole as quick as any back. And he can't wait to show Pitt fans what he can do for the Panthers.
"I haven't been involved with the summer program just yet, because I don't enroll for summer classes until Sunday,'' Saddler said. "They told me to just enjoy my summer, so that's what I did. But I'm ready to go, believe me.''
Since he committed to Pitt, Saddler has been an advocate of the football program and has been its most important ambassador. The dynamic Saddler and fellow Big 33 participants from the Panthers 2008 recruiting class like Tino Sunseri and Jonathan Baldwin dominated the all-star game and then crowed about Pitt's prospects for the future.
"This is a team on the rise,'' Saddler said. "The Big East better look out for us for the next few years to come and into the future.''
Saddle also has been invaluable to Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt as a recruiter. He helped secure Gateway HS teammate Shayne Hale for the Panthers this year, and he will talk about Pitt football to anyone who will listen. Saddler was a spectator at Pitt's Passing Camp Friday and Saturday, but he hardly was idle.
Saddler gave his Pitt sales pitch to talented 2009 prospects like E.J. Banks from Montour, Brock DeCicco from Thomas Jefferson and Dan Mason from Penn Hills, among others. And as far as he is concerned, there's nothing Saddler won't do to sell Pitt football to prospective future teammates.
"Oh yeah, that's one of my roles on this team,'' Saddler said. "I'm not just a football player, but I'm a recruiter, too. You know, we're all trying to get the best football players that we can here at Pitt, and I want to do my part. We have a lot of good players interested in Pitt, but we want to get a lot more.''
So far, Saddler has been unable to sway two 2009 seniors Dorian Bell and Corey Brown from Gateway to Pitt, but he still had a positive outlook.
"Dorian's committed to Ohio State, as you all know, but I brought Corey down to Pitt (Thursday), and we had a good time,'' Saddler said. "So, I think that Pitt still has a good chance to get Corey, and I'm talking to him about that. He has a good head on his shoulders, and I'm sure he'll make the right decision.''
With Saddler recruiting him as hard as anyone, Pitt has to be among Brown's leaders.
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